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A year on

  • Published at 04:44 pm August 25th, 2018
Rohingya
Photo: SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

The world should be ashamed for its inaction thus far


It has now been a full year since the last influx of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh, seeking shelter from the relentless persecution at the hands of their own defense forces.

Since then, Bangladesh has housed close to a million Rohingya throughout multiple refugee camps across the nation -- succeeding where the rest of the world failed and continues to fail.

It is a shame that even a year on, there has been next to no concrete progress regarding the Rohingya’s repatriation into Myanmar, mostly due to the country’s very obvious attempts at slowing down the process.

As if it were not enough for Myanmar to maim and kill their own countrymen in an effort to drive them away, the state continues to go out of its way to make sure that the Rohingya remain in a state of limbo even after recognizing them as citizens.

The world should be ashamed for its inaction thus far.

But Bangladesh never shied away from doing the right thing. Despite being a country yet to achieve middle income status, our government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has provided the fleeing Rohingya with shelter to the best of our capacity -- an achievement shared both by our leaders and the common citizen.

One year on, despite Bangladesh’s own resources being stretched to breaking point, few international actors have stepped up to help in any tangible way. The situation as it stands is untenable, and unless the end goal here is to sink a persecuted minority while compromising Bangladesh’s own economic position, we should all expect more from the international community in dealing with the issue.

However, any action should begin by recognizing the truth of the ethnic cleansing operations that have been carried out in Rakhine state.